Parrot gets into first-person view with new 4K Anafi FPV drone
After DJI and Fat Shark went public with their HD FPV drone offerings last month, France's Parrot has announced its own version of the first-person-view experience. The Anafi is an all-in-one kit with a quick-launch backpack to help you get in the sky pronto.
Based on the lightweight, quick-folding Anafi 4K camera drone the company launched back in June, the Anafi FPV bundle adds an extra set of "Cockpitglasses" for FPV. Unlike the more sophisticated DJI and Fat Shark systems, Parrot's Cockpitglasses basically amount to a holder that lets your strap your mobile phone to your face with a pair of eye cups that block out light. Still, that'll give you a wired 720p drone's eye view of proceedings and put you in the pilot's seat.
There's a little more to the goggles – they've got a button on them to allow you to switch from regular view, with all its many overlays, camera settings and information, to a minimal HUD interface designed to let you enjoy the FPV experience. And there's a further interesting "see through view" that uses the camera on your phone to show what's in front of you instead of what's in front of the drone, letting you see where the drone is in the sky as well as whether anyone's nicking your spare batteries while you're in the goggle zone.
In case you wish to look straight up or down, the Anafi FPV's 69-degree wide-angle camera tilts 180 degrees to get you some nifty angles for your shots, and in order to make the most of the FPV experience, there are two new gimbal modes that roll the camera with the drone. Cinematic mode smooths out roll motions for a glider-style effect, and Racing mode smooths things out a lot less for a feeling of responsiveness as you fly.
The other new piece here is Arcade mode, which changes the controller mappings such that the left stick controls the camera, enabling it to rotate in any direction, while the right stick controls the flight of the drone, relative to whichever way the camera is pointing. We're not sure how this one works in practice, but it sounds like an interesting way of switching things up.
Beyond that, the drone and controller themselves are basically the same as the Anafi: the drone weighs a lightweight 315 g (11.1 oz), it's a quick-fold machine much like DJI's Mavics, and it'll fly for 26 minutes on a charge, sending 720p vision back from up to 4 km (2.5 mi) away. The camera records nice-looking vision in several different modes, including 4K Cinema, 4K UHD, 1080p and 720p. It shoots 21-megapixel stills, and it can do the same digital dolly zoom trick as the standard Anafi.
It also comes with a backpack that's worthy of mention. When the waist strap is done up, you can flip the shoulder straps off, spin the pack around and open it up. It'll sit flat against your belly and offers you a neat little always-there table you can set your gear up on before taking off.
The Parrot Anafi FPV kit is now on sale and retailing for US$799 – a $100 premium over the regular Anafi drone. The Parrot drone, controller and Cockpitglasses together are cheaper than just buying the DJI goggles outright, but on the other hand, $100 seems steep when Parrot's goggles are really just phone holders. Still, if you consider strapping a phone to your face an FPV flight experience, this is a reasonably affordable way to get up and running.
Check out a video below.